The University Sorbonne Paris Nord seeks to appoint a postdoctoral researcher in bionanoscience (3 years) to join the ERC funded NanoBubbles Synergy project and participate in the critical analysis of scientific articles as a community resource and as a basis for a replication initiative.

The NanoBubbles Project

The NanoBubbles project has been awarded ERC Synergy funding of € 8.3 million over 5 years, and began on 1 June 2021.

Science relies on the correction of errors to advance, yet in practice scientists find it difficult to erase erroneous and exaggerated claims from the scientific record. Recent discussion of a “replication crisis” has impaired trust in science both among scientists and non-scientists; yet we know little about how non-replicable or even fraudulent claims can be removed from the scientific record. This project combines approaches from the natural, engineering, and social sciences and the humanities (Science and Technology Studies) to understand how error correction in science works and what obstacles it faces, and stages events for scientists to reflect on error and overpromising.

The project’s focus is nanobiology, a highly interdisciplinary field founded around the year 2000 that has already seen multiple episodes of overpromising and promotion of erroneous claims. We examine three such alleged “bubbles”: the claim that nanoparticles can cross the blood-brain barrier; that nanoparticles can penetrate the cell membrane; and the promotion of the “protein corona” concept to describe ordinary adsorption of proteins on nanoparticles. Through the study and practice of nanobiology, we will analyse how, when and why science fails to correct itself, and explore ways to improve the reliability and efficiency of the scientific process.

The position

As a postdoctoral researcher in bionanoscience you will work at the University Sorbonne Paris Nord, supervised by both Prof. Raphaël Lévy (physicist with expertise in nanobiology, University Sorbonne Paris Nord, France) and Dr Yasemin J. Erden (philosophy of science and technology, Twente, Netherlands).

You will work closely with another postdoctoral researcher from philosophy, within the same supervisory team, and alongside a number of others researchers from different disciplines examining overlapping and related topics. The successful applicant will therefore be engaged not only with their own work, but with complementary lines of investigation undertaken by postdocs working with other PIs.

Working closely with the Postdoc in philosophy, your main tasks will be to:

  • Explicate a common vocabulary to facilitate this interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Develop and share systematic approaches for the critical analysis of scientific articles
  • Annotate articles and use these annotations to trace and connect claims and experimental results, across the relevant scientific literature.

In synergy with other NanoBubbles researchers you will also contribute to:

  • Work towards mapping, tracing, organising of core scientific content using digital methods stemming from the fields of scientometrics and natural language processing;
  • Analysing the effects of interventions that aim at correcting the scientific record.

As part of your role, you will be required to give conference talks and presentations, and to publish co-written reports and articles. Although the role does not include experimental work during the first year, it would be possible to be involved (through collaborations) in related lab-based projects based on interest and expertise up to ~20% of your time.

The position is for 3 years with a gross salary between 2690 and 3400 €/month depending on prior experience. A fraction of remote working could be agreed if it suits the needs of the candidate and of the project.


You should have a PhD in Bionanoscience, ideally related to one of the three “alleged bubbles” mentioned above. Your application should demonstrate your ability to work independently as well as part of an interdisciplinary team. Applicants should possess good communication skills and an excellent command of English, at least at C2 level.

How to apply
To apply for this position, please send an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications and motivation  and a detailed CV to You can apply until 30/08/2021.
For more information please contact Raphaël Lévy: